Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Ladybird Book - The Computer - M.O.D edition

Has anybody reading this blog ever worked for the M.O.D from 1970 - 1974? I am particularly intereted in employees that were trained in computing at the M.O.D.

I am desperately seeking a LADYBIRD book that was privately printed for the M.O.D - it was called 'The Computer'. This private edition was limited to 80 - 100 copies and was printed without the usual Ladybird copyright information, and was produced in plain boards. The plain printing style of these 80 editions was at the request of the M.O.D., as they did not want their trainee staff to know that they were learning from a Ladybird book.

The problem is that nobody has ever seen a copy and I have personally been looking for 9 years - this is the amount of time I have been researching the Ladybird company - please visit my Ladybird website to read more in depth about the M.O.D special edition :

If anyone can help me find a copy of this book then there is £200 reward - any info regarding it would be most appreciated - it's the last puzzle in my Ladybird jigsaw! Once I find it I can lay my Ladybird research to rest and move onto other areas within books.

Thanks in advance for any help,

Robert -

1 comment:

Macduff Dave's Books said...


Just received an e-mail wwho claims to have written the book in 1964

I was interested to read on various websites about a 'rare' Ladybird book about Computers that was #654 in the "How it works" series. Your website (and eBay which has at least two for sale) give the publication date of 1971.
However..... I am 70 years.... young....., programmed my first computer in 1948 and worked for 'the' UK computer company ICT (later changed to ICL) after graduating in 1963/64. I had worked on early computers at Liverpool and Cambridge Universities and on moving from the ICL laboratory in Manchester (early 1964) worked at their headquarters in Stevenage. The very first job I was 'given' (with two other new graduates) was to write a book about computers for Ladybird!! The book was definitely finished by Easter 1964 and published later that year, after which I left ICL in December 1964 to take a job in computer 'consulting' in London. The book did not have any of our names in the front and only acknowledged "The help of International Computers and Tabulators" We were all given initial copies of the book and indeed I recall I saw my copy about 5 years ago.... somewhere... among a lot of old computer books I have! But I have looked for it recently and cannot find it!! MOST annoying! (I will keep on looking!)
The primary thing about the 1964 book was that the front cover was just a single picture of a computer room and was - with hindsight - very superficial and elementary! It was thus not a surprise to me to find (some years later) that it had been updated to the cover (and probably contents) of #654. However, I was surprised to see that this has a publication date of 1971 since I feel sure I had seen the revised edition when I started as Senior Lecturer in Computing at a London College of Technology in 1969!
Notwithstanding the 1964 book was undoubtedly printed but I cannot find any reference to it... anywhere!!
I would be interested to hear your thoughts and observations?
Tony Newey"

This confuses me even more.